Health  

Blood Donor InformationLast Updated 17 Mar 2021

BLOOD DONOR GUIDELINES

Traditionally in North Cyprus, it is the responsibility of the patient to find friends and family to donate blood in the case of any surgery.

In emergency situations, the hospital will request blood from the State Blood Bank in Lefkosa and the patient should arrange for replacement blood to be donated by friends and family post-operation. It is not necessary to replace all the blood with the same blood group as the patient; it is the replacement of the same number of units which is important.

In the case of elective or planned surgery, it is the responsibility of the patient to arrange for donors to donate at either Girne State Hospital Blood Bank or Lefkosa State Hospital Blood Bank. The blood donor will need to state the name of the patient and the hospital they are in when they donate; this should be BEFORE the surgery is required. In this case it is preferable to find people of the correct blood group.

As the main Lefkosa Blood State Bank is always short of blood, the BRS, in conjunction with the blood bank, and Girne state hospital organise a number of blood donor days every year to try and boost the available blood supply and to try and raise awareness of the importance of donating blood.

Please do not underestimate the importance of donating blood; it literally could save a life. 

Please also help by informing friends and family of the need for donors and encourage them to register (see below).

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Information on Donating Blood - please check BRS website for any changes.

In North Cyprus both sexes can donate every four months.

The age limit for regular donors is 68; the age limit for first time donors is 67. The BRS is currently undergoing discussions with the Health Department to raise the age limit for donors.

You can donate at Girne State Hospital or the Lefkosa Blood Bank Monday to Friday between 8am and 1pm. The BRS organised blood donor days are advertised in Cyprus Today and an email is sent to all donors registered on the donor database. If you live to the east of TRNC you can also donate at the new Famagusta State Hospital between 9am and 2pm, Monday to Friday.  

Donating blood takes approximately 20 minutes. The technician will first check your blood pressure and haemoglobin count, and provided these are within the specified health limits, you can donate.

To register as a donor, please use the contact page with your name, home location, mobile telephone number, email address and date of birth. If you know your blood group, please also advise what it is.  If you don’t know your blood group, we will be able to tell you once you have attended a donor day and we have received your results from the blood bank. Having donated blood at a donor day you will be issued with a donor card on your next visit.

Blood donations can count towards your residency blood test. As it stands currently, you need to donate three times within the 12 months before your residency is due and make the last donation no more than one month before your residency is due. Don’t forget to take you donor card with you.

If you are giving blood for your residency, you should inform the technician taking the 3rd donation and you will be able to personally collect your results from the Lefkosa State Hospital Blood Bank approximately one week after donation. The BRS is currently in negotiations to try and make this process less complicated.

If you have any queries, please use the contact page and select Health/Welfare to send it to. 

PLEASE REGISTER AND HELP SAVE A LIFE!

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Health Matters in the TRNCLast Updated 17 Dec 2021

Although there is NO equivalent to the National Health Service in the TRNC, there are plenty of good doctors, dentists and hospitals, both state and private, along with other health professionals who provide a good to excellent standard of care but it is different from what you would expect in the UK.

Private Medical and Dental treatments are at the cost of the patient and charges vary from one practitioner to another.

The BRS has negotiated discounts with some hospitals for its members and you need to present a valid BRS card to obtain this. Please login and see the members section for full details.

One of our Discount Partners is Azant Insurance, who work with Zirve Sigorta to provide Health Insurance.  It is now possible to purchase Emergency Stability Health Insurance for our members up to 85 years of age.  Please click here for details.

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It’s worth noting that you will be expected to pay your hospital bill in full when you are discharged. Bear in mind if paying by debit card or withdrawing cash from a cash machine that most banks set a daily limit on how much you can have per day and your hospital bill is likely to exceed this! When being admitted for a procedure you should take your passport with you as the hospital holds this and returns it to you on discharge, when you have settled your bill.

ALWAYS ask about the cost of treatment before you agree to go ahead with it and ask for something in writing. It is advisable to get a second opinion on what is being recommended as well as getting alternative quotes.

As members know there has sometimes been a dispute on the discounted price as there has been no written agreement with the patient. Some hospitals have agreed on a formal terms and conditions document that will hopefully clarify matters for all parties. Please see discount list.

Doctors and Dentists issue prescriptions but such medicines are payable at cost by the patient. If you are receiving a regular prescription in the UK please take care to check the availability and cost of any medicines you may require.

A British citizen, with an up to date European Health Insurance Card, visiting Cyprus as a tourist, can be treated in a Republic of Cyprus state (not private) hospital or you can choose to seek and pay for private treatment in South Cyprus. There are restrictions on this and for full details on the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), see the relevant section.

The main hospitals frequently provide health prevention screening packages, which offer a raft of investigations at a much-reduced price. There are differing opinions on health screening, some say it throws up ‘conditions’ that require further investigation that turn out to be benign and need to treatment, causing unnecessary stress and worry. The other opinion is that finding and diagnosing conditions such as pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiac issues etc. mean they can be treated sooner and prevents complications that can arise if left untreated. In addition, early cancer detection is a lifesaver!

We will endeavour to inform our members of any packages that are being offered at a discounted rate.

GP Clinics

In recognition of the GP led service that many expats are used to, some hospitals and clinics have set up a system whereby you can ‘register’ with them and they offer GP style clinics with referral to a specialist as required. Specialist referrals are often next day or within the same week. You can register with as many clinics as you like!

The number of hospitals providing this service is increasing an you may wish to enquire at your nearest provider.

Ambulances

Most of the Private Hospitals have their own ambulances and they will take you to their own Accident and Emergency. (A&E) The most commonly used numbers to ring are;

Near East / Dr Suat-Gunsel          153

British Kolan                                  0392 680 8080

State Hospital Ambulance             112.

Be aware that there is no postcode generated satellite navigation system nor freely available street maps so you may need a friend to meet with the ambulance and guide it to you, if you are not near to a well-known location.

State Hospital A&E - Many minor injuries are treated quickly and without cost in the emergency room of the state hospitals. It is local practice that the first port of call during an illness is the local pharmacist who provides free advice, or will recommend a visit to a doctor.

Hospital details

Here are details of some of the more commonly used hospitals:

  • Baskent Hospital Lefkosa - 0392 223 6695 / 0392 223 6588
  • British Kolan Hospital - The main hospital is based in Lefkosa and this is where surgery would be done. https://www.kolanbritish.com/home/ 0392 680 8080 In addition there is a clinic in Kyrenia
  •  Etik Hospital Lefkosa - 0392 223 4694, 223 4764; 2236328 http://www.etikhastanesi.com/
  •  Guven Hospital Ankara with Girne Office - Yasmin Çaliskan: 0533 842 7349
  •  Kamiloglu clinic and hospital Girne 0392 815 3282
  •  Medical Port Tunççevik Hospital 0392 815 0800 http://www.medicalporttunccevik.com/en/. It can be found on the Bellapais Road just before Altinkaya Resort.
  • Near East Hospital – The large hospital site is based in Lefkosa http://neareasthospital.com/?lang=en but there is also a clinic/hospital based in Kyrenia in the Karakum area. https://neu.edu.tr/dr-suat-gunsel-hospital-now-in-service/

There are a number of other hospitals and we have just listed the ones our members have tended to use. Details of hospitals in other areas of North Cyprus will soon be added.

Pharmacies

There are numerous pharmacies in North Cyprus and most of the pharmacists and staff speak English. As in the UK they can help with minor illnesses and recommend treatments or where appropriate, advise you to seek medical attention. The Cyprus today newspaper, which is printed every Saturday, has a list of duty pharmacies that are open. 

Nursing Care/Home Care

Standards of nursing care are quite different here to the UK. In the State Hospital it is relatives and friends who are expected to provide the nursing care.

The private hospitals do have nurses who provide the care, most of whom have been trained in Turkey. Standards of care can be variable.

On discharge from hospital if you require help with basic chores and or basic hygiene, dressings etc, some Hospitals offer a domiciliary service at an hourly rate. Again this may vary. This includes travel time and fuel costs. They can provide purely 'domestic' duties, basic hygiene, providing lunch, light housework etc. If nursing care is required, such as injections and dressings etc this can also be provided. Again, I would urge full clarification on requirements and costs.

For respite care or end of life care etc. Dr. Suat Günsel Hospital of University of Kyrenia offer a "Geriatric Service" where a person can stay with them 24/7 at a basic cost of 3000TL per month (FEB 2018). This includes the room, basic nursing care and all meals. Any additional requirements need to be discussed and costs obtained. Please note there are no communal facilities here and most patients that take up this service spend the majority of time in their rooms. This can be used for a variety of reasons, e.g. respite care, end of life care or for a longer stay following surgery. If it is for less than a month then it should be a pro-rata charge. I cannot stress enough that you discuss exactly what you require and ascertain costs and that if the hospital fee additional chargeable services are required at any stage that the hospital discuss this with the bill payer before initiating them.

In addition, there are a number of individuals who have a care or nursing background who offer domiciliary care. I am unaware of any checks on their qualifications, but I know people have used them and been satisfied.

The KOLAN British Hospital has now introduced Private Nursing Home Care Packages available now:
Please click here for details.

Assisted aids

The BRS hold some mobility aids such as wheelchairs and walking sticks that can be borrowed by members on a short term basis. Contact the BRS Health and Welfare Secretary for further information.

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ANTIGEN/PCR TESTINGLast Updated 27 Nov 2021

Please note that Antigen Tests are now available from most Chemists (40tl), but you will will need to make sure that they can provide the results as a document or on your phone.

Please click here for details of the latest Antigen test locations.

Currently there is no definitive list in existence for PCR testing centres.  Most private medical clinics and hospitals are undertaking the tests for a relatively small cost.  State Hospitals now seem to have moved away from PCR testing to concentrate on Vaccinations.

We have asked for the relevant information to be made available but this may take some time.  Also local PCR test centre locations should be available from your local Beledeye as most of them are conducting localised testing.

Once we have more information we will update this page. 

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State Healthcare and InsuranceLast Updated 3 Dec 2020

Below is the actual cover provided by the State Health Insurance.  We were provided with the document in Turkish and this is a certified copy of that document.

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Health Insurance Coverage (Compulsory for residency visas)

For Foreign Nationals with an Immigration Permit  Foreign nationals, who have paid the premium determined in accordance with Article 11 of the National Health Insurance Scheme, can benefit from health examination and treatment services carried out in the emergency services free of charge. However, all other public health services, excluding the emergency health treatment services carried out after the necessary examination and diagnosis in the emergency services, including consumables, polyclinic services, laboratory and examination services, public pharmacies, drug supply services, all kinds of inpatient treatment services, any paramedical services and any other public health services offered can be used at full cost. The scope of emergency treatment services as per Article 11 of the National Health Insurance Scheme is as follows:

  1. Drowning
  2. Traffic Accident
  3. Suicide Attempt
  4. Rape
  5. Fall
  6. Injury/ limb rupture
  7. Electric shock
  8. Freeze
  9. Cold Shock
  10. Heat Shock
  11. severe burns
  12. Serious Eye injuries
  13. Poisoning
  14. Serious allergy anaphylactic situations: Severe allergy or low blood pressure that may lead to impaired heart rhythm, respiratory tract obstruction.
  15. All kinds of spinal fractures of the spine and lower extremity fractures, which cause large external or internal bleeding.
  16. Decompression (diver's disease) situation commonly known as ‘crippled by the bends’ 
  17. MI, Arrhythmia hypertension crises: Heart attack, types of heart rhythm disorders that require urgent treatment, brain pressure, hemorrhage etc. rising to a degree that can lead to serious outcomes
  18. Asthma crisis, acute breathing problems
  19. Any situation that causes loss of consciousness
  20. Sudden strokes
  21. Serious general condition disorder
  22. High fever: poisoning, infectious diseases, heat stroke, etc. If the average body temperature is 39.5 C or above.
  23. Diabetic and uremic bleeding: conditions that may start from confusion caused by diabetes and kidney failure to complete loss of consciousness (coma).
  24. Dialysis disease accompanied by general condition disorder
  25. Acute abdomen: Perforation, hollow or knotted inflammation of hollow organs such as stomach intestine, etc. situations requiring urgent intervention.
  26. Acute massive hemorrhages: Life-threatening internal or external bleeding, usually caused by trauma.
  27. Meningitis, encephalitis, brain abscess
  28. Renalcoholic: A condition that causes severe pain that may lead to urinary tract or kidney damage caused by renal calculus.
  29. Acute psychotic pictures: Neurological or psychological discomfort.
  30. Migraine and/or vomiting, loss of consciousness, headaches.
  31. Discomfort due to delirium tremens.
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Access to NHS Care in the UKLast Updated 3 Dec 2020

In April 2015, changes were made to the way the NHS charges overseas visitors for NHS hospital care. These changes also affect some former residents of the UK. The changes were made so that the NHS does not lose out on income from migrants, visitors and former residents of the UK, who may be required to pay for their hospital treatment costs while in England.

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Within England, free NHS hospital treatment is provided on the basis of someone being ‘ordinarily resident’. It is not dependent upon nationality, payment of UK taxes, national insurance contributions, being registered with a GP, having an NHS number or owning property in the UK. The changes which came into effect from April affect visitors and former UK residents differently, depending on where they now live.

Treatment in A&E departments and at GP surgeries remains free for all.

“Ordinarily resident” is a common law concept interpreted by the House of Lords in 1982 as someone who is living lawfully in the United Kingdom voluntarily and for settled purposes as part of the regular order of their life for the time being, with an identifiable purpose for their residence here which has a sufficient degree of continuity to be properly described as settled.

Anyone who is not ordinarily resident is subject to the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2011.  These regulations place a responsibility on NHS hospitals to establish whether a person is ordinarily resident; or exempt from charges under one of a number of exemption categories; or liable for charges.

Nationality or past or present payments of UK taxes and National Insurance contributions are not taken into consideration when establishing residence.  The only thing relevant is whether you ordinarily live in the UK.

People who live outside the European Economic Area, (EEA), including former UK residents, should now make sure they are covered by personal health insurance, unless an exemption applies to them. Anyone who does not have insurance will be charged at 150% of the NHS national tariff for any care they receive.

For more up to date information go to the Gov.uk web site.

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POSITIVE PCR/ANTIGEN PROCESS AND VACCINATION INFORMATIONLast Updated 18 Jan 2022

Following statements from the Government it has become clear that the majority of 'new' infections are as a result of a return to face to face education.  This is one of the reasons for the following information being released.

SUMMARY OF COVID-19 DECISIONS

The Higher Committee for Infectious Diseases on Friday updated the Covid-19 measures and restrictions in place.

According to the latest decisions, fully vaccinated persons who have come into direct contact with an individual who has tested positive for Covid-19 will be allowed to resume their daily activities without the need to isolate by wearing a face mask.

ADDITIONAL BOOSTER JABS

After the Omicron variant was also seen in our country, the “Vaccination Table” was updated by the Contagious Diseases Vaccine Committee.

POSITIVE PCR/ANTIGEN TEST PROCEDURE

We have finally received confirmation from the TRNC Health Ministry that should you arrive back from the United Kingdom via the Republic of Cyprus,and as an example after arriving in the TRNC receive a text message from the Republic of Cyprus advising you that you have positive PCR test upon arrival ateither Larnaca or Paphos, or you subsequently test positive while in the TRNC OR at any time, the procedure that you should follow is,

BOOSTER INJECTIONS

The Government have advised anyone who received the Sinovac vaccine that as a 6-month period has elapsed they are now able to attend any of the District State Hospitals vaccination locations to been given their booster injection.  Generally this is the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine.

Should you have been vaccinated with the Pfizer or Astra Zeneca vaccines you need not take the booster for a period of 9 - 12 months.

VACCINATION CENTRES AND AVAILABILITY

Please see the attached image which gives the locations of vaccination centres as well as which vaccines are available.

VACCINATION  PROCESS 

Following increased numbers of vaccines being sent to the TRNC from Turkey the Prime Minister, Ersan Saner has announced that if you want to be vaccinated then you need only to attend one of the vaccination centres to receive the vaccine.

GIRNE

Girne State Hospital - Pfizer/Astra Zeneca

Suat Gunsel Hospital (Near East Hospital Karakum) – Sinovac OR Johnson & Johnson,

Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm & Saturday and Sunday 9am to 4pm

Ozyalcin Vaccination Centre (Harley Davidson) – Johnson & Johnson,

Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm

LEFKOSA

Lefkosa State Hospital - Pfizer/Astra Zeneca

Kolan Hospital – Sinovac,

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm & Saturdays 9am to 1pm

Etik Hospital – Sinovac,

Monday to Friday 8am to 1pm

Near East Hospital – Sinovac OR Johnson & Johnson,

Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm & Saturday and Sunday 9am to 4pm

Dr Burhan Nalbantoglu State Hospital – Johnson & Johnson

Monday to Friday 08.30 to 2.30pm, Saturday & Sundays 08.30am to 6pm

FAMAGUSTA

Famaguta State Hospital - Pfizer/Astra Zeneca

Famagusta Medical Centre – Sinovac,

Monday to Friday 8am to 1pm

Kunter Guven Hospital - Sinovac,

Monday to Friday 12midday to 4pm

Near East Dispensary – Sinovac

Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm

Maras Health Centre – Johnson & Johnson,Monday to Friday 2pm to 6pm

ISKELE

Iskele Health Centre – Johnson & Johnson,

Monday to Friday 2pm to 6pm

GUZELYURT

Near East Dispensary – Sinovac,

Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm

Cengis Topel Hospital – Johnson & Johnson,

Monday to Friday 9am to 1.30pm

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UK GOVERNMENT ACCEPTS TRNC VACCINATIONS

Since 10th January 2022 anyone fully vaccinated in the TRNC can enter the UK without the need to take a Day-2 and Day-8 PCR test.

The requirement now is to pre-purchase a Lateral Flow test prior to arrival in the UK.  You DO NOT have to self-isolate until the results are confirmed, but should continue to test for health reasons. 
 

 

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